Quick Action ‘shortcut’ to clear metadata from a file in Finder

When you use AirDrop to move an image from your iOS device to your Mac macOS adds some metadata that made me uncomfortable. In particular, the com.apple.metadata:kMDItemWhereFroms metadata is a binary property list which includes the name of the device it came from. The default name is often your name, as in, “Dad’s iPhone 12 Pro”.

Lots of ways you might share that image which don’t copy that data, but copying the file to another Mac through an external hard drive or file sharing, at minimum, seems to transfer this metadata across.  Sending as an email attachment, or as a Messages message attachment doesn’t seem to transfer this metadata, on the other hand.  It would be nice to have a preference to prevent adding this to the file metadata (FB10992657).

Since I’m not 100% clear when this metadata is getting transferred and when it isn’t, I wrote a small macOS Shortcut to strip it.  First Shortcut I’ve put together and the lack of logging for shell commands or of any kind makes Shortcuts significantly less usable than Automator, for example (where I had to go to figure out what was going wrong).  Also the initial text for an Run Script node in a Quick Action are not as helpful as the Automator environment (FB10993044).

Anyway, here’s the result:

ClearMetadata

I’d attach the actual shortcut file but Apple chooses to make them tightly linked to the creator and doesn’t allow sharing the source code for the shortcut without attaching my AppleID certificate to the file (WTH?!) (FB10993444).

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